You can still strive to maintain your health and fitness during the most uncertain and challenging times with these simple exercises that take less time than a commercial break.
By Kyle Kercher
Indiana, here we come! My wife and I recently made a big cross-country move across the beautiful U.S. Aside from the multiple moving truck breakdowns, flat tire and load needing to be transferred into another truck, we genuinely had a great time — oh, and the mouse in the cab provided a couple shrieks and laughs, too. We made it safely and loved seeing the vast countryside of Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, and finally the rolling hills of Bloomington, Indiana. The bonding as we waited for tow trucks, ate local pizza and stayed in random hotels was incredible. Driving up to Mount Rushmore in a 26-foot truck with an added trailer sometimes as slow as 10 miles per hour was priceless.
Heraclitus, a Greek Philosopher, once said “the only constant in life is change.” That concept can be a tough one to embrace, but we’ve bought in. Exactly what lies ahead may be uncertain, but we’ll figure it out together. Anybody who has been through a significant change, whether it’s in schedule, location or another important life event, knows that it can really throw a wrench in your fitness and health plans. You may have been in a great routine (or not), but change can make it feel like you’re starting all over if you don’t embrace the positive mindset it demands.
There is never a perfect time for a big change. You will always have factors like family commitments, work projects and comfortable relationships. Fortunately, since change is inevitable, you can still strive to maintain your health and fitness during the most uncertain and challenging times with these simple exercises that take less time than a commercial break:
- Pushups: No equipment required. My wife enjoyed doing these in the hotel room while we waited for dinner, and there are all sorts of variations you can do.
- Body Squats: Like pushups, these can be done anywhere at anytime and require nothing more than a body. Just make sure you get as low as you can.
- Lunges: These can be done walking or stepping forward/backward. They’re a great way to activate major muscle groups in your legs.
1. OTMs (Opportunities To Move): Instead of getting an Uber or cab, we walked a few miles to dinner. Our bodies loved it after sitting in the moving truck all day. You can find OTMs everywhere.
2. Monthly Challenges: Lastly, when you know you’re about to go through a big life change, consider a monthly or weekly challenge on your own or with a friend. You can find all sorts of monthly or weekly challenges by doing a quick Google search of, for example, “monthly pushup challenge.” I love to print these out and tape them to the wall, whiteboard or fridge.
No matter what your big change is (new job, moving to a new city, new schedule, etc.), it’s easy to think you can’t move your body intentionally because you’re not in a gym or you don’t have time. Therein lies the beauty of these kinds of movements. Activity, even in small doses, can provide many very powerful benefits. If you want to continue to be active and healthy for your family, friends and business, then one of the best things you can do is to spend a few minutes taking care of yourself. The same kinds of behaviors keep you healthy — mentally and physically — whether you’re in Montana, Indiana or anywhere else.
Kyle is a husband, leader, author, first-year Health Behavior Ph.D. student and research assistant in Bloomington, Indiana. He moved to Bloomington from Kalispell in July 2019 with his wife Vanessa. Kyle has a Master’s in Exercise Science and Sports Psychology, and his book, “The Mental Game – Grit, Growth, and Mental Toughness in Athletes,” is available on Amazon. Contact Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org